Recap: Spirit defeated, 0-2, by Gotham FC on the road

Washington Spirit  |   September 16, 2023
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Harrison, N.J. (09/16/2023) – The Washington Spirit fell to NJ/NY Gotham FC, 0-2, on Saturday night. The Gotham side excelled at home, propelled by the heroics of NWSL newcomer Esther González who started in her first career NWSL game.


The Spirit’s final scheduled meeting with NJ/NY Gotham FC did not begin with fireworks, as both teams finished the first half in a scoreless draw. This is the fourth consecutive match the Spirit has faced a scoreless first half. Gotham FC has gone scoreless in the first half in 15 of its 19 regular season matches this season, the most of any NWSL team.


Goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury recorded two saves in the first half, including a diving save from a Midge Purce laser in the 26th minute. Gotham controlled much of the pace in the first 45 minutes, to the tune of 60% possession. From the 15- to 30-minute mark, 40% of gameplay occurred in the Spirit’s defending third.


The Spirit didn’t find much opportunity on the attack in the first half. The Spirit, whose first shot came in the 16th minute from Ashley Hatch, didn’t record a shot on goal until Trinity Rodman recorded one in the 43rd minute.


Additionally, in the first half, Gotham had eight shots, 24 touches in the opponent, and 35 final third entries, while the Spirit recorded only two shots, six touches in the opponent box, and 17 final third entries.


Out of halftime, the Spirit was destined to flip the script as three of the first four shots came from the visiting side. Though, the fifth shot of the second half would find the back of the net but off the foot of Esther González. The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion from Spain scored the first goal of her NWSL career on the same day of her first NWSL start. With the stalemate broken, González struck again five minutes later, extending the Gotham lead.


The score line would remain 0-2 until the final whistle, marking the second consecutive 0-2 loss for the Spirit. When conceding first, the Spirit is 1-5-2. When scoring first, the Spirit is undefeated at 5-0-5.


All eyes turn to the Spirit’s next match, a home bout against the Kansas City Current on Saturday, September 30. The game will begin at 7:00 p.m. EDT and tickets can be found here.


-NWSL Match Report-

Match: NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Washington Spirit

Date: September 16, 2023

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EDT

Weather: Clear, low-70s


Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
NJ/NY 0 2 2
Washington 0 0 0

NJY – Esther González – 65’

NJY – Esther González – 70’



NJY: 24- Mandy Haught; 32- Jenna Nighswonger; 11- Ali Krieger; 77- Maitane López (21- Ellie Jean, 82’); 3- Bruninha (22- Mandy Freeman, 90’+1’); 17- Delanie Sheehan; 14- Nealy Martin; 18- Yazmeen Ryan (28- Katie Stengel, 90’+2’); 10- Lynn Williams; 9- Esther González; 23- Midge Purce (33- Sinead Farrelly, 78’)

Unused Substitutes: 1- Michelle Betos; 15- Sabrina Flores; 25- Ifeoma Onumonu; 13- Mana Shim


WAS: 1- Aubrey Kingsbury; 14- Gabrielle Carle; 3- Sam Staab; 9- Tara McKeown; 5- Annaïg Butel; 12- Andi Sullivan; 26- Paige Metayer (19- Dorian Bailey, 83’); 10- Ashley Sanchez (13- Bayley Feist, 83’); 30- Camryn Biegalski (8- Ouleymata Sarr, 46’); 33- Ashley Hatch; 2- Trinity Rodman

Unused Substitutes: 28- Nicole Barnhart; 18- Lyza Bosselmann; 22- Amber Brooks; 16- Maddie Elwell; 39- Chloe Ricketts; 25- Marissa Sheva


Stats Summary: NJY / WAS

Shots: 17 / 8

Shots On Goal: 4 / 2

Shots Blocked: 8 / 4

Saves: 2 / 2

Tackles Won: 7 / 20

Fouls: 11 / 10

Offsides: 1 / 1


Misconduct Summary:

NJY – Jenna Nighswonger – 16’

NJY – Esther González – 60’

WAS – Trinity Rodman – 60’

NJY – Bench– 69’

NJY – Ellie Jean– 90’+9’

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